Thinking about painting the exterior of your house, yourself?   The weather is perfect in Tampa for painting this weekend and the weeks ahead.  So, we decided to write this entry for the DIY home project weekend warriors explaining how to paint a house exterior.  Use the first weekend to plan how you want to paint your home – choose your paint colors, pull together all the tools and materials, maybe even make a few phone calls to round up your friends to help you paint.  As the saying goes, “Many hands make light work.”

Pick Your House Paint Colors

The paint department at the Home Depot in Brandon, FL has a design studio you can use to visualize the paint colors and how they match before you paint. However, be aware that the display screen isn’t perfect and the colors you see won’t necessarily look exactly the same in the sunlight on your home’s exterior.  That’s why it’s always good to buy and try paint samples before you invest in gallons of paint.  Use your paint samples to paint various areas of your home, flat areas and corners and also where two colors meet.  Then, throughout the week, see how the colors look at during different times of day, and also different types of weather – some days bright and sunny and also on overcast days.  Learn more about how to choose exterior paint colors.

After you pick out the perfect colors for your home’s exterior siding, trim, doors, garage door, shutters, etc, follow the steps below to achieve the fastest and best results when painting your home in a weekend.

Plan for Success

Take time to consider what you need to get the job done right, then gather up the necessary supplies:

  • Pretty weather. Rain and high humidity will keep paint from adhering properly.
  • Exterior wall paint, usually latex with a flat or eggshell finish. Plan for two coats. Measure your wall area to determine the amount you’ll need.
  • Exterior trim paint, usually latex or oil in a gloss or semi-gloss finish. Again, plan for two coats.
  • Paint sprayer (optional).
  • Paint brushes and roller covers appropriate for your surfaces and paint selections. Having the right ones makes painting easier and produces the best result.
  • Ladder appropriate for the height of your house.
  • Drop cloths, plastic sheeting and painter’s tape to protect landscaping, windows, doors, and light fixtures.
  • Pressure washer and other appropriate cleaning supplies.
  • Epoxy filler and spackle knife.
  • Medium grit sanding block or paper.
  • Stucco crack repair materials, if necessary.
  • Paint scrapper.
  • Old clothes you don’t mind getting paint on. Long sleeve shirt and pants or painter coveralls, even in the summer. Hat to protect your hair.  Eye protection wear like work glasses
  • Paint gloves to keep your hands from getting paint on them.
  • Stain blocking primer. If you’re changing colors, get enough for the whole house.
  • Exterior caulk and caulking gun.
  • Remember, call up your friends to see who can help… and keep pizza delivery on speed dial!

Prepare Your Home for Painting

Surface preparation is critical to achieving a good result. Resist the temptation to cut corners with any of these important steps.

  • If you have lead-based paint that needs to be removed, follow these steps to safely remove lead-based paint.
  • Start by cleaning the house exterior. Use a cleaner and method appropriate for your surface, rinse thoroughly and allow it to dry. A pressure washer is the fastest and easiest method for this step.
  • When the house is dry, identify and repair any damaged surfaces. Many minor cracks and holes can be repaired with epoxy filler using a spackle knife, then sanded smooth. Stucco cracks, however, require special treatment to avoid creating unsightly crack lines. Click here for information about the correct way to repair stucco cracks.
  • While you’re inspecting for damaged surfaces, also keep a lookout for loose paint. Paint that’s chipped or peeling must be scraped or sanded smooth.
  • Use sand paper to dull any glossy finishes.
  • Caulk where needed around trim areas.
  • Apply stain blocking primer as needed to mask any discolorations. If your new house color is different from the existing color, apply primer to the entire house. Use the right primer – consider what you are painting (wood, vinyl, stucco, concrete, etc) and what type of paint you will be using (water based or oil based)
  • Use drop cloths, plastic sheeting and painter’s tape appropriately to protect doors, windows, light fixtures, landscaping, etc. from being splattered with unwanted paint.  Move the cars out of the driveway!

Paint Your Home

Now comes the part you’ve been waiting for – applying that perfect color that will be the knockout of the neighborhood! For best results, start high and work your way down.

  • Ceilings (porch, overhangs) and under the eaves.
  • Walls (work from the top, down). Using a paint sprayer with a steady side to side motion helps get the job done quickly.
  • Trim (molding, shutters, windows and doors).
  • Floors (porch, deck). Create traction by mixing in a small amount of fine sand.

Clean Up after Painting Your House

  • Carefully remove painter’s tape… wait for it to dry!
  • Keep some paint for touch-ups
  • Wash your hands, clothes, hair
  • Paint is hazardous waste. Properly dispose of extra paint (take to local county recycling center or use cat litter or paint hardener before putting it in the trash)
  • Different ways for Latex paint vs Oil paint

That’s it! Now, take a step back and admire the results of a job well done.

Perhaps you realize there’s more time and labor involved than you’re able or willing to invest.  No worries! Your local painters in Tampa, Don’s Bay Area Painting, are ready and able to step in and make your painting your house easy and fast.  If you’re having any second thoughts about taking on this DIY home project, give us a call today for a Free Painting Estimate or submit our Painting Quote Request form.